Stonewall 50 finally gets our history right

By : Mark Segal, member Gay Liberation Front 1969-71 and publisher of Philadelphia Gay News
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Something very strange happened during last June’s celebration marking the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots. The LGBT community, especially those of us from Gay Liberation Front New York realized how the history we created from 1969 to 1971 was being distorted by those who had recorded it.

Even LGBT organizations, whose mission is to give resources and information to mainstream media, fell short and had to be corrected by the mainstream media it was supposed to assist. On an anniversary of this scope, communities begin to both look back at their history and think critically about where they are at present.

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Authors and Activism: A History of LGBT Bookstores

By : Jason Villemez, Courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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“It was unbelievably fun,” Ed Hermance said about his time operating Giovanni’s Room, one of the first queer bookstores in the world. “You weren’t there for the economics, and it would be exhausting if you were in it for the politics. We were starved.”

Until the 1970s, when LGBT publishing first began and activists like Barbara Gittings pushed for representation in libraries, the few queer books available were limited mostly to anti-gay medical texts. So, as the first wave of bookstores like Giovanni’s Room opened, getting hold of quality LGBT titles was a necessity.

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The Stonewall Inn: 50 Years Ago

By : Mark Segal, Gay Liberation Front 1969-71
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That night, standing in Stonewall, I could not have imagined what the next few hours would do to change the gay and lesbian community around the world. I doubt anyone else could have known. How could we have known, on June 28th, 1969, that we’d be participating in history?

It started when the lights flickered on and off, alerting the patrons to something imminent, though I had no idea what. It was my second month in New York, my second month walking Christopher Street, my second month being an out and proud gay. Looking over at my friend, I asked what was happening and he said, nonchalantly: “Oh, it’s just a raid.” As an 18-year-old new to everything, his words were frightening.

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